National Democratic Front of Bodoland

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National Democratic Front of Bodoland
Front Nacional Democratic Bodoland.svg
NDFB flag
Abbreviation NDFB
Formation October 3, 1986; 28 years ago (1986-10-03)
Type Separatist militant group
Purpose Establishment of a sovereign Bodoland
  • Assam, India
Membership 1500 (estimated, 2010)
Chairman (Anti-Talks Faction) Ranjan Daimary
President (Pro-Talks Faction) B. Sungthagra
Formerly called Bodo Security Force

The National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) is an armed separatist outfit which seeks to obtain a sovereign Bodoland for the Bodo people in Assam, India. It is designated as a terrorist organization by the Government of India.[1]

Formed in 1998, the group carried out several attacks on civilians in Assam, targeting non-Bodo civilians as well as the security forces. In May 2005, it signed a ceasefire with the Government, but some of its factions continue to indulge in militancy.


NDFB claims to be a representative of the Bodo people, who form around 70% of Assam's population on the North Bank of River Bullumbuther (Brahmaputra). The main grievances of the group are the under-development in the region and the influx of immigrants. It aims to address these issues by seceding from India, and establishing a sovereign Bodoland.[2] The NDFB constitution, adopted on 10 March 1998, lists its objectives as the following:[3]

The promotion of the Roman script for the Bodo language is also a significant demand of NDFB. The group's members are well educated, and are opposed to the use of Devanagari script for the Bodo language.[3]


NDFB was formed on 3 October 1986 as the Bodo Security Force (BdSF), under the leadership of Ranjan Daimary, in Odla Khasibari village (near Udalguri). The group carried out several attacks targeting non-Bodo civilians, including Adivasis. On 12 December 1992, it attacked the 7th Assam Police Battalion headquarters at Choraikhola in Kokrajahar District, and decamped with 160 self-loading Rifles(SLR) and 5 Light Machine Guns(LMG).[4] BdSF was renamed to National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) on 25 November 1994.[3] Besides targeting non-Bodos and the security forces, the Christian-dominated NDFB has also been in conflict with the Hindu/Bathouist-dominated Bodo Liberation Tigers Force (BLTF). The BLTF has supported the security forces against NDFB, polarizing the Bodoland movement along religious lines.[5]

Unlike several other Bodo groups, NDFB adopted a tougher stance on the issue of Bodo sovereignty. On 20 February 1993, the Governments of India and Assam signed an accord with the All Bodo Students Union, resulting in the creation of Bodoland Autonomous Council within Assam. The NDFB opposed this accord.[6] In 2003, the NDFB denounced the accord between BLTF and Government of India for the establishment of the Bodoland Territorial Council.[7]

Ranjan Daimary was offered amnesty by the Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in December 2003, but rejected the offer. On 8 October 2004, the NDFB announced a 6-month long unilateral ceasefire, that came into effect on 15 October. However, the Government continued its operations against the group. On 15 April 2005, NDFB extended the ceasefire. The Government released its general secretary Govinda Basumatary to open a channel of communication with the organization's Bangladesh-based leadership. This resulted in a ceasefire agreement between NDFB and the Government on 25 May 2005. The agreement stated that the NDFB agree to cease hostile action against security forces and civilians. In return, the security forces would not carry out operations against the group's members. The agreement also stipulated that NDFB members would disarm and live in camps protected by the military for a year, and would refrain from assisting other militant groups.[8] The pact came into force on 1 June 2005. However, certain factions of NDFB continued militancy. In May 2006, five members of the security forces were abducted and killed by suspected NDFB members in Assam's Udalguri District. The group also continued to clash with cadres of the ex-BLTF (Bodo Liberation Tiger Force). On June 5, 2006, two former BLTF cadres were killed by NDFB militants in the Karbi Anglong District, and one former member of the disbanded group was lynched by suspected NDFB militants in Golaghat District on June 3, 2007.[8]

In December 2008, the NDFB indicated its plans to indirectly or directly participate the Lok Sabha elections.[3]


NDFB is a Hindu-dominated group, with an estimated 1,500 members in 2010.[2] Before December 2003, its armed wing Bodoland Army had around 3500 members, most of whom were based in the 12 camps located in southern Bhutan. However, after the Royal Bhutan Army's operations against NDFB, a large number of its members either surrendered or were arrested. Before the 2005 ceasefire, it had 2000 members, who were mainly based in the NDFB camps in Myanmar and Bangladesh, as well as temporary camps in Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.[3]

The main leaders of the group include:[3]

  • Ranjan Daimary alias D.R. Nabla, the founder: He is the leader of NDFB-ATF (Anti-Talks Faction).
  • B. Sungthagra alias Dhiren Boro, President: He is the leader of the NDFB-PTF (Pro-Talks Faction). He was elected as the outfit's President at a meeting in Serfanguri on 15 December 2008. A former Vice-President of NDFB, he replaced Daimary as the President. He had been arrested in Gangtok on 1 January 2003, and released in 2008. The security forces described his election as a split in the group.
  • B Swmkhwr alias Govinda Basumatary, General Secretary: He had been arrested on 25 November 2002, and released later.[3]
  • B. Sanjarang, publicity secretary
  • B. Benga, Speaker
  • Nileswar Basumatary alias B J Jabda, Finance secretary: He had surrendered to the Assam Police in Guwahati on 17 March 2004, and was released later
  • Bijoy Boro, Deputy commander-in-chief: He was arrested in Bangkok during July 2004, and later deported to India, where he was put in the custody of the Assam Police
  • B Irakdao, Publicity secretary: Missing since the Bhutanese military operations in December 2003
  • B Udang alias Udang K R Brahma, Head of NDFB's "Central Headquarters": Handed over to the Indian authorities by Bhutan on 5 June 2004

In 2012, I. K. Songbijit, the chief of the organization's armed faction Bodoland Army, announced the formation of a nine-member "interim national council", resulting in a split.[3] The main armed factions now include NDFB-RB (led by Ranjan Daimary) and NDFB-S (led by IK-Songbijit).

In the past, the NDFB received its funding via the Bhutanese diplomatic bag to their leadership based in the capitals of South-East Asian countries. The Myanmar-based Chin National Liberation Army is NDFB's main supplier of arms and ammunition. The outfit also has had links with other militant organizations including United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC) and National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K).[3]

The flag of the NDFB is green with a yellow star on red background on the corner.


NDFB has carried out bombings, kidnappings and murders in Assam.[2] The Assam Government has accused it of targeting ethnic immigrants Muslim settlers who are occupying tribal lands in the Bodoland and other parts of Assam.[9]

The group primarily operates in the region to the north and north-west of the Brahmaputra river. It is active in the Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Darrang, Barpeta, Dhubri, Nalbari and Sonitpur Districts of Assam. It has also been active in the Garo Hills region of Meghalaya.[3] It has used the neighbouring Bhutan as a refuge, crossing the border in the Manas National Park area. In December 2003, the Royal Bhutan Army initiated a crackdown on the group's activities in Bhutan.[10]

Between 1992 and 2001, the violence involving NDFB resulted in the deaths of 167 security forces personnel and over 1200 civilians:[11]

Year Civilians killed by NDFB Security Forces Personnel killed by NDFB NDFB militants killed by the Security Forces
1992 37 10 1
1993 25 6 6
1994 108 22 6
1995 132 16 7
1996 176 25 15
1997 137 25 31
1998 305 22 37
1999 113 14 50
2000 95 20 109
2001 134 7 113

The attacks attributed to the NDFB include (SATP[12]):

Date Place Incident Reference
1 May 1998 Anjora NDFB militants kill 5 Adivasis (tribals) [6]
2 May 1998 Deoshree, Kokrajhar District NDFB militants drag 4 Adivasis out of a bus, kill one of them and torture the other 3 SATP
3 May 1998 near Bishmuri point on NH-31, Kokrajhar District NDFB militants drag Adivasis out of a bus, and kill 14 of them; four others injured SATP
9 May 1998 Borbil, near Gosaigaon NDFB militants kill 16 Santhals Adivasis, including 10 women and two children; 12 others injured
17 June 1998 Kokrajhar District NDFB militants kill four Adivasis SATP
15 September 1998 Gossaigaon subdivision, Kokrajhar District NDFB militants kill 14 Santhals SATP
31 July 2000 Soonmari NDFB militants blow up two bogies of a Rangia-bound passenger train, killing 14 passengers SATP
1 August 2000 near Tezpur NDFB militants explode a bomb on a passenger train, killing 12 people SATP
21 August 2000 Dhubri NDFB militants kill 5 Muslim civilians SATP
19 August 2000 Guwahati NDFB kills Bineshwar Brahma, branding him an agent of the BJP-led Central government. Brahma was opposed to the adoption of the Roman script for the Bodo language, which had invited the ire of NDFB. [13]
21 August 2000 Garagaon NDFB militants kill the Bodo MLA Mohini Basumatary of the People's Democratic Front [14]
8 November 2000 Barpeta District Suspected NDFB militants kill 8 civilians, including 7 non-Assamese people [6]
25 November 2000 Lung Sung forest reserve NDFB kills 8 woodcutters who refused to obey their order to stop logging in Bodo areas SATP
3 January 2001 Assam NDFB militants kill woodcutters [6]
31 July 2001 Soonmari NDFB militants detonate a bomb on a Rangiya-bound passenger train, killing 14 [6]
1 August 2001 near Rangia NDFB militants detonate a bomb on the Arunachal Express between Rangia and Goreswar stations, killing 12 and injuring 8. Two NDFB militants suspected to be involved in the blast were killed in an police encounter near Goreswar. [15]
25 September 2001 Baghmari, Bongaigaon District NDFB bomb blast derails the North East Express, injuring 100 people SATP
25 October 2001 Gauripur NDFB militants detonate an explosive at a Hindu celebration, killing 3 and injuring 12 [6]
7 December 2001 Assam Opposed to logging in the region, NDFB militants kill 4 woodcutters in two separate incidents [6]
2 June 2002 Bongshijhora village, Dhburi District NDFB militants kill 3 members of a family [6]
14 July 2003 Kokrajhar District NDFB militants kill 3 people in separate incidents [6]
24 November 2003 Khanglabari, Darrang District NDFB militants kill 3 Biharis, and injure 9 others [6]
8 July 2010 Gossaigaon, Kokrajhar District NDFB militants blast railway tracks, resulting in derailment of the Kolkata-bound Garib Rath Express. A six-year-old child Durlav Sethia was killed, and 23 others were injured. The NDFB stated that the attack was a revenge for the mistreatment of its arrested leader Ranjan Daimary and the killing of "innocent Bodo youths" by the security forces. [16]
14 July 2002 West Maligaon forest village relief camps, Kokrajhar District Sspected NDFB militants kill 9 Adivasis, injure 5 others SATP
17 August 2002 near Sarbhog, Barpeta District NDFB militants kill a school teacher SATP
21 August 2002 Maladhara, Goalpara District NDFB militants kill four police personnel and a civilian driver, injure 17 more SATP
23 October 2002 Deosankar Reserve Forest, Dhburi District NDFB militants fire on a group of two woodcutters, killing two
27 October 2002 Datgiri village, Kokrahjar District NDFB militants kill 22 civilians SATP
29 August 2010 Gamani, near Bhalukpong NDFB militants kidnap two goods train dirvers Nirmal Chandra Borgohain and Abhijit Siring Phukan, demand INR 1 crore (10 million) as ransom [17]
26 April 2003 Taijouguri village, Kokrajhar District Suspected NDFB militants kill 4 members (including two children) of the family of a former colleague SATP
18 July 2003 Dwimguri village, Kokrajhar District NDFB militants kill 4 persons they suspect to be government informers SATP
2 October 2004 Makrijhora, Dhubri District NDFB militants open indiscriminate firing at a busy market, killing 16 people and injuring 20 others SATP
4 October 2004 Gelapukhuri village, Sonitpur District NDFB militants kill six civilians, injure 7 others SATP
5 October 2004 Jalabila village, Dhubri District Suspected NDFB militants shoot dead 10 civilians, injure 7 others SATP
1 December 2004 Lutubari, West Garo Hills, Meghalaya NDFB miltants kill 5 villagers and injure another SATP
21 May 2007 Udalguri District NDFB cadres abduct five security force personnel and a civilian. The civilian Babul Kalita was found dead on 22 May. The other five were found dead an the Belsiri Nala (West Kameng District, Aruanchal Pradesh) on 29 May. SATP
16 March 2008 Dhaolabari Ashuline, near Kokrajhar NDFB militants shoot dead Bigrai Basumatary alias Belaibe, the secretary of the surrendered NDFB Welfare Association SATP
30 October 2008 Guwahati and neighbouring areas 2008 Assam bombings: NDFB cadres were suspected to have executed the attacks planned by ULFA and other groups. SATP
30 June 2009 Naharani Grant village, Sontipur District NDFB militants shoot dead four persons of a family: Munna Pal (30), his wife Subhapati Pal (35), his younger brother Tunna Pal (30) and his son Pankaj Pal (3) SATP
4 October 2009 Bhimajuli NDFB-ATF kills 12 people in Bhimajuli Massacre [18]
8–9 November 2010 Assam NDFB-ATF militants kill 22 people in spearate attacks. On 8 November, the militants killed 19 people, including 13 Hindi speakers. Several others were injured, one of whom died the next day. The next day, they killed two Hindi-speaking Muslims in Ultapani, Kokrajhar District, and a cycle mechanic Paran Mandal in Chirang District. Earlier on November 1, the NDFB had threatened to kill 20 or more people for every NDFB cadre killed by Security Forces. SATP,[19]
14 March 2011 Between Bangladoba (Chirang District) and Ultapani (Kokrajhar District) The militants of the Ranjan Daimary-led faction ambush patrolling troop of BSF, killing 8 jawans. [20]
13 August 2012 Chirang District NDFB-RD militants shoot dead a Muslim labourer, and injure three others. The four victims were natives of West Bengal, and were returning from Bhutan. SATP
13 November 2012 Harishinga, Sonitpur District NDFB-RD militants kill a tea planter Adilur Rahman, and injure his bodyguard Motilal Tirkey SATP
27 January 2014 Mauriapur village, Sonitpur District NDFB-S militants ambush a police convoy, killing ASP Gulzar Hussain and injuring 5 other policemen. The police convoy was returning from a night-long operation against the group. SATP
May 2014 Kokrajhar and Baksa Districts 2014 Bodo attack: 32 Muslims were killed in a series of attacks. The government blamed NDFB-Songbijit faction for the attacks. The NDFB denied any involvement in the killings, and stated that the government agencies were behind the attacks. [21]
August 2014 Chirang district A 16-year-old girl was dragged, beaten and shot at point blank range at least nine times in front of her parents [22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Banned Organisations". Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Retrieved 2014-05-03. 
  2. ^ a b c Andrew T .H. Tan (18 October 2010). Politics of Terrorism: A Survey. Routledge. p. 190. ISBN 978-1-136-83336-6. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)". SATP. 2014-05-03. 
  4. ^ E. N. Rammohan (2005). Simply Khaki. Indialog Publications. p. 181. ISBN 978-81-87981-78-7. 
  5. ^ Vivek Chadha (23 March 2005). Low Intensity Conflicts in India: An Analysis. SAGE Publications. pp. 268–. ISBN 978-0-7619-3325-0. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Barry M. Rubin; Judith Colp Rubin (2008). Chronologies of Modern Terrorism. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 151–169. ISBN 978-0-7656-2206-8. 
  7. ^ Tom Lansford (2012). Political Handbook of the World 2012. CQ Press. p. 643. ISBN 978-1-60871-995-2. 
  8. ^ a b Jane's Information Group (2008-03-28). Jane's World Insurgency and Terrorism. Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-2284-8. 
  9. ^ Wasbir Hussain (20 October 2008). "Power Cuts for the People". Outlook: 16. 
  10. ^ Joginder Singh (2010). India, Democracy and Disappointments. Gyan Publishing House. p. 224. ISBN 978-81-212-1040-9. 
  11. ^ "Casualties in Violence by National Democratic Front of Bodoland in Assam". SATP. Retrieved 2014-05-03. 
  12. ^ "Incidents and Statements involving NDFB: 1998-2012". South Asia Terrorism Portal. Retrieved 2014-05-03. 
  13. ^ Nitin Gogoi (2001-01-17). "Bodo group war to turn bloodier". 
  14. ^ Barun Das Gupta (2000-08-22). "Assam MLA shot dead". The Hindu. 
  15. ^ "12 killed in Assam train blast". The Tribune (Chandigarh). 2001-08-02. 
  16. ^ Preetam B. Choudhary (2010-07-08). "NDFB blast on tracks kills boy: Outfit flashes muscle power - Anti-Talks faction derails Garib Rath". Indian Express. 
  17. ^ "NDFB demands Rs 1 cr for release of goods train drivers". Zee News. 2010-08-31. 
  18. ^ "Army deployed at Bhimajuli as massacre toll touches 12". The Times of India. 2009-10-05. 
  19. ^ At least 19 people dead in militant attacks in NE India. BBC News. 8 November 2010.
  20. ^ "8 BSF jawans killed by Bodo militants in Assam". 2011-03-15. 
  21. ^ Aaron Pereira (2014-05-03). "Assam live: 22 people arrested for helping militants". Firstpost. 
  22. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)